In his new role as senior vice president of player personnel and public Face of the Front Office, Doug Williams figures to have his every comment about every rostered Redskins player scrutinized. That goes triple for the quarterbacks, the position Williams played, and the longtime obsession of this town.
So when Williams was asked about third-stringer Nate Sudfeld last week, careful ears began tingling.
“Sudfeld’s one of my favorites,” Williams told ESPN 980’s Doc Walker. “You know, he was one of the guys, when we drafted him, when we sat in the room [and] we talked about drafting a quarterback, I was a Sudfeld guy. You know, none of [the prospects] took snaps up under the center; they all stood back in the shotgun. He was at Indiana, but when you watched him and the guys at a couple more schools, there was something about him that you liked. And I think he’s learned how to take the snap from under center; he gets the ball out of his hands.
“The first couple weeks here, I think [Coach Jay Gruden] wanted to run him off,” Williams joked. “He looked so bad, Jay wanted to run him off.”
“Yeah, he did not look good early on,” Walker agreed.
“No, no, but the kid has worked, he’s learned,” Williams went on. “And I’ll tell you what: Out of the quarterbacks that came out this year, if he was coming out this year and looked like he looked [at last Tuesday’s practice], he would be up there anywhere from the second to first round. The kid has improved.”
That’s high praise for a guy who didn’t play a single snap in his rookie season. Four quarterbacks were taken in the first two rounds this spring: three near the top of the first round, and DeShone Kizer near the end of the second round. Davis Webb, taken by the Giants near the end of the third round, was the fifth quarterback selected. Would Sudfeld — a sixth-round pick in 2016 — have gone ahead of Kizer, or Webb, or late-third-round compensatory pick C.J. Beathard?
Hey, it’s a radio interview in June. Why not?
And before you start running out to buy your Sudfeld jerseys, Williams was also asked on NFL Network whether his department is preparing for the possibility of needing a quarterback if the team can’t reach a long-term deal with Kirk Cousins. Sudfeld’s name did not come up.
“Well, I think number one, in my department, we’ve got to be aware of the situation,” Williams said. “If Kirk doesn’t sign a long-term contract, which I hope he does, that tells us if not, we’ve got to go to work. We’ve got to search long and hard to find that guy. But at the same time, we’ve got a capable backup here in Colt McCoy, who can hold the fort down for a while or even take it long distance. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to look for that guy if Kirk don’t sign long-distance, but I hope we don’t get into that.”